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News Alert: USCIS Fees Will Increase Starting Apr. 1, 2024

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released their final rule on Jan. 31, 2024, adjusting the price for certain immigration and naturalization fees. Every two years, the USCIS conducts a fee review. In the most recent biennial review, they determined that the “fees do not recover the full cost of providing adjudication and naturalization services.” In tandem with USCIS, DHS adjusted their fee schedule to also recover costs and maintain their services.

The fee increase will be established on all benefit requests postmarked Apr. 1, 2024, and after.

What Are the Fees Used for and Are There Exceptions?

Benefit request fees make up the primary source of funding for USCIS services. The fees fund benefit requests for “refuges, asylum [seekers], and certain other applicants and petitioners.” Most of the fees adjusted in 2024 have not been increased since 2016, so they now reflect inflation costs from the past 8 years.

The USCIS hopes this increased revenue will help slash processing times and address application backlogs that were affected by increased application volume and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, achieving this will depend on staffing and continued volume of applications.

Acknowledging that some applicants will not be financially able to meet fee requirements, the USCIS determined that an applicant with “an annual gross household income at or below 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines” meets the requirements for a fee waiver. These household income numbers  will continue to update along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Federal Register. Applicants seeking a waiver will need to provide documentation of their income including:

  • Form 1040,
  • IRS Form W-2,
  • Pay stubs, or
  • Support/benefits statements or affidavits from organizations sending financial aid.

A USCIS Deputy Director has the authority to grant a fee exemption required by 8 CFR 106.2. According to USCIS Fee Schedule, to be granted a waiver, the Deputy Director “must determine that such action would be in the public interest, the action is consistent with the applicable law, and the exemption is related to one of the following:”

  • Asylees;
  • Refugees;
  • National security;
  • Emergencies or major disasters declared in accordance with 44 CFR part 206, subpart B;
  • An agreement between the U.S. government and another nation or nations; or
  • USCIS error.

USCIS Fee Increases

Please note that the above chart does not reflect all fee increases. For the full list of adjusted fees, please visit USCIS’s Filing Fee FAQs page with the entire breakdown.

Fee increases range from anywhere between $10 to ~$30,000 and affect individual, entrepreneurial, and employment related forms. For reference, the I-956F Application for Approval of an Investment in a Commercial Enterprise is increasing $29,900 while the USCIS Immigration Fee is increasing only $15. For some forms, especially those that consider biometric services, the fees are decreasing or are completely free.

For applicants who are still in the visa process and worried about the fee increase, getting in all materials PRIOR to Apr. 1, 2024, may ensure that the current fee is charged.

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